Some of JVCKenwood’s servers in Europe were subject to a cyber attack two weeks ago, the company said.
The attack may have caused a leak of information from those servers by the attacker, said JVCKenwood, claiming it will publish more details as they become available.
A website called BleepingComputer claims the incident was a ransomware attack, where a group called Conti stole 1.5TB of files and is demanding $7 million not to publish the leaked information.
A source showed BleepingComputer a PDF of a ransom note used in the attack, claimed the news outlet. The alleged attacker, Conti, has been behind other ransomware attacks on high profile targets such as the City of Tulsa, and Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE).
Kenwood USA had no comment other than what was written in the JVCKenwood official statement here.
There has been a surge in ransomware attacks in the US and around the globe in recent years, and a surge in attacks by Conti, in particular.
Just last week, FBI and a US Cybersecurity agency issued a security alert, as they have found more than 400 Conti ransomware attacks on US and International organizations.
In a ransomware attack, hackers use malicious software to break into a company’s data. They then encrypt the data and refuse to return it until the company pays a ransom, explains NY Magazine’s Intelligencer. The usual fee is often millions of dollars.
Subjects of recent cyber attacks include Howard University, the Houston Rockets, one of the largest US insurance companies–CNA Financial Group, and the hospital system of San Diego. In May, a cyber attack on the Colonial Pipeline forced the company to halt its gasoline supply to much of the East Coast.
But these are just some of the larger attacks. An estimated 65,000 cyber attacks occurred in 2020, said Intelligencer. Many of the hacker groups are located in Russia, it said.
One of the reasons these attacks are growing more common is because ransom payments can be made in Bitcoin.
In April, the Department of Justice launched a Ransomware and Digital Extortion Task Force to help stem the attacks, in part by stopping services that support them such as online forums, said Intelligencer.